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Erasmus Intensive Language Course 2011 (EILC)

From 5th to 23rd September 2011 two Erasmus Intensive Language Courses of Slovene (EILC) took place at the University of Nova Gorica. EILC courses are funded funded through the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission* and are designed for foreign Erasmus students who intend to spend their Erasmus study period at one of the Slovene universities.

The university hosted 28 students from 11 different countries – the Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Montenegro, Slovakia, Finland, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

The courses were carried out on the beginner’s (A1) level, developing all four types of the students’ skills – speaking, listening, reading and writing. The objective of the course was to teach foreign students basic expressions, vocabulary as well as basic grammatical structures of the Slovene language in order to develop the students’ linguistic ability to function in everyday conversational situations in the local environment.

On the first day, the university organised the so-called “Welcome Day”, where the students got all the necessary information about the course programme, extra activities organised, the university and the Nova Gorica region. The students also got the so-called “info packs” containing brochures, maps and other useful materials.

In the mornings, the students were busy with lectures. They had 60 hours of lessons altogether, 4 per day. Besides teaching the students Slovene, the University has a policy to offer the EILC participants the possibility to experience Slovenia in every possible way; from learning about the Slovene culture, history and traditions to encouraging the students to learn about the EILC participant countries by socializing with each other and organising common trips, sports events, parties, etc.

Some of the main extra activities, organised by the University were:

– the trip to the Postojna cave and the Predjama castle

We visited the mysterious Karst region, famous for its underground caves, with the Postojna cave perhaps being the most attractive cave in the world. Visiting the adjacent Predjama castle is a must – an imposing medieval castle, built in the rock face, partly in a cave is an unforgattable experience. And the students also loved to hear the legend about the castle’s most famous inhabitant, the knight named Erasmus (what a coincidence;)).







the Soča river rafting trip













– the trip to Lake Bled

Lake Bled, located in the Julian Alps, is a real jewel in all respects. A crystal-clear lake with a charming little island with a church on it lies in beutiful nature amid high mountains. The island with the church (containing the famous wishing bell, by the way) can be reached by special wooden boats. The lake is dominated by a medieval castle sitting on the top of the rockface next to the lake itself. The students took a stroll around the lake, visited the castle, some of them decided for rowing in the lake … In the town of Bled, they enjoyed the famous Bled cream cake and finally returned to Nova Gorica by train travelling through the amazing Soča valley.

– the traditional “wine tour” – grape picking in the university’s vineyard and wine tasting at the School of Viticulture and Enology of the University of Nova Gorica

We live in a wine-growing region and therefore we offered the students  a unique opportunity to learn about wine-making and wine itself. The School of Viticulture and Enology of the University of Nova Gorica hosted the EILC students – first in the university’s vineyard, where the students learned all about grapevines and grape-picking and took part in the traditional process of harvesting. The students enjoyed picking (and also eating, of course) grapes and learning how the grapes are turned into wine. At the School of Viticulture and Enology we had a great wine-tasting session, where we learnt all about different types of wine, making wine and serving wine as well. We tasted various samples of wines produced by the University Estate – the Vilina wines.  A walking tour around the town of Ajdovščina followed. We visited the Roman remains in the old part of the town and enjoyed locally produced delicious icecream. The trip continued by driving to Goče, a charming little village, and visiting a small local winery, Cejkotova domačija. Our dinner – old regional traditional dishes were served in a great setting – an old, restored house with a homely atmosphere and a lovely terrace, from where we could admire the view of the hills, covered in vineyards, and the old, still preserved part of the village. Finally, the owner of the winery took us to his centuries-old wine cellar and in the candle light we could relax and listen to his stories and local legends about wine.

The University also offered the students assistance with organising private trips or helped them find accommodation facilities for the study period that followed their EILC.

We are glad to confirm that all the EILC students have successfully completed the course of Slovene and received an official certificate with the assigned ECTS. We sincerely hope the knowledge gained will help them in the future.

Moreover, we are happy to hear that the students are still in touch with each other and that long-lasting friendships have been formed.  We are looking forward to hearing about the students’ reunions and hoping that you are enjoying your Erasmus period in Slovenia.

If you are a foreign student planning to spend your Erasmus period in Slovenia, we warmly recommend you to attend a free EILC course of Slovene at the University of Nova Gorica.
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*Disclaimer: The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. The European Commission is not responsible for any use of the information contained therein.

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  1. Sabina Zelinscek says